The internet is a noisy and congested place, jam-packed with websites vying to create an online presence.
With all the businesses competing on the internet, having a solid site with SEO that works is more important than ever to drive traffic to your brand new website.
Organic search visits fell 4% as paid search ads took the top four positions on Google pages, putting behind organic search listings further down page one.
So, in order to win a spot in search, SEO is key.
As a small business owner, it's unlikely that you have an SEO (search engine optimization) team on staff. You might even be working with a team of one.
Regardless, you want your target audience to find your business online and turn them into qualified sales leads.
So what do you do?
You can hire a consultant to come in-house and do a search engine audit and devise a strategy to drive more traffic to your site.
Or, you can do it yourself if you have technical expertise and SEO knowledge.
Whatever path you choose, here are some of the SEO best practices you need to know and execute to maintain a website with SEO that works:
How to Create a Website With SEO that Works
1. User Experience
To use SEO that works, your website must be user-friendly.
Google and other search engines' main priority is good user experience.
Your site should be easy to navigate. If visitors have to work too hard to find the products or information they're looking for on your site, you won't rank well. Rest assured your visitors won't stick around for long either.
People are impatient–and are often doing other tasks while they're browsing. They have an attention span of two to three seconds. So, if a site takes more than three seconds to load, they're on to the next website.
2. Responsive Design
It's a mobile world. Most people, especially millennials, search online from their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
They're in the library, on-the-go, in class, or taking a lunch break.
Search engines consider mobile in their search criteria when deciding what search results to display, so businesses need a website with a responsive design.
It doesn't matter whether your site is powered by WordPress or HTML5, or another content management system or markup language, it has to be adaptable.
This means it adapts to various screen sizes and screen resolutions.
62% of B2B marketers and 51% of B2C marketers now optimize their content for mobile to improve SEO.
A word of warning.
Google won't display nonresponsive websites in mobile search results, which is the way mobile users search.
3. Content Optimization
Implementing the right keywords is your first step in content optimization.
This will help you create a site with SEO that works.
Keywords tell the search bots whether your content is useful and relevant.
A great way to place higher in search results is to use long tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are more specific.
Say you're doing a search for health spas. Can you imagine how many results will come up?
An example of long tail keywords could be health spas in Tampa, Florida or Shiatsu massage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
These longtail keywords generate better leads, focusing on your target audience.
This also enables you to rank for keywords that are less competitive.
Good headlines make your SEO work for you
Another necessary element for SEO that works is your headline. Good headlines entice users to click through to your site.
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule?
The rule is that 80% of people searching will click on a headline and 20% will read an entire article.
Make sure your headlines have good keywords. Having an engaging headline with the right keywords is a smart way to for users to find your site.
If you don't have a master headline writer who knows SEO, check out Jon Morrow's 52 Headline Hacks.
Tags help your site get indexed
When search engine bots crawl the internet to index sites, they look for text.
These bots can't find videos or images.
Make sure you add text to your images and videos.
When posting videos to YouTube or your site, include a transcript to improve your SEO.
These tips will help users find the visual content you've worked so hard to create.
Remember to use keywords, but don't embed images.
Google sees this as a trick and it can work against you.
Titles, meta-description, URLs
Carefully craft your page titles just like headlines because that's the first thing visitors see in search results.
Meta-descriptions are another opportunity to grab the attention of web surfers. They appear directly under your title. If you don't write a meta description, Google will grab the first thing on the page.
Having keywords in your URL will also benefit your SEO ranking.
5. Google Micro-moments
Have you ever heard of Google micro-moments?
Google defines this as a way millennials, typically, often make purchasing decisions.
These micro-moments work like this:
A user wants to know, go, do or buy something.
Say a college student wants to book a cheap flight to Las Vegas on the weekend on a certain date.
He or she will search using these keywords:
“cheap deals to Vegas this weekend”.
These searches often lead to sales on the fly.
So, when you're coming up with keywords, keep these moments in mind.
Ask yourself, what specific words would your target audience type into their browser to find your product?
6. Social Media
A study reported 76% of marketers believe social media is good for their SEO strategy.
Since social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are authority sites, they rank higher in results on the page.
Some other helpful tips about social:
- Choose the right social platform for your audience.
- Optimize social posts by using the right #hashtags
- Know which social media channels your audience frequents (Some B2B businesses–but not all– are more likely to be found on LinkedIn.
7. Multiple Languages or Multiple Countries
Are you planning on selling your products and services to people in multiple countries?
Then you need to decide whether you want a website that's multi-lingual, multi-regional or both.
Issues to address for multiple countries/languages before your site build should include the following:
- Local keyword research
- duplicate content
Using different country domains will also enable you to target that country more closely.
But with these considerations, you might need more resources to create separate domains, manage your infrastructure and create unique content for each domain.
If you don't have that option and have to work from one single web domain, the best approach is to create subfolders for each country.
Create a subfolder such as website.com/us, website.com/uk.
You've got it–some handy tips on how to use a website with SEO that works for your business.
Know any other tips?
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